On Saturday, 1,733 Clark and East Klickitat County residents dropped off a total of 5,304 pounds of unused and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications and 1,539 pounds of sharps/syringes to a group of local law enforcement officers, pharmacists, prevention coalition staff and community partner volunteers. The medication disposal event was held at six locations throughout Clark and East Klickitat Counties, where a steady stream of cars lined up to hand over medications and sharps. All medication and sharps were weighed and secured in boxes that will be transported for incineration by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
“It’s really great to see our community so committed to keeping medications out of the environment and protecting their children and families from possible misuse of prescription drugs,” said Kelley Groen-Sieckmann, community prevention project specialist at ESD 112. “Knowing that our prevention work is resonating with people is a huge win for prevention coalitions across the SW Washington region.”
These numbers show an increase over the most recent Drug Take Back Event in April, which collected 4,311 pounds of medications and 1,307 pounds of sharps. More than 800 individuals who dropped off meds were first time contributors.
Our Drug Take Back Events started in 2010 with one Clark County site. They are now held twice annually in April and October and are a community partnership that includes Washington State Health Care Authority and multiple prevention coalitions serving communities in the southwest region of Washington State. This fall, we were proud to organize these events with the help of many community partners, including:
- Battle Ground Police Department
- Central Vancouver Coalition
- Clark College ACES Club
- Clark County Public Health
- Clark County STASHA
- Coalition for Preventing Abuse in Klickitat County (CPAKC)
- Connect Evergreen Coalition
- Cowlitz Public Safety Department
- Fort Vancouver Medical Arts Magnets
- Goldendale Police Department
- Kaiser Permanente
- Klickitat County Sheriff’s Department
- Klickitat Valley Health
- La Center United
- Prevent Coalition
- Prevent Together Battle Ground Prevention Alliance
- Southwest Washington Accountable Community of Health
- Unite! Washougal Community Coalition
- U.S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration
- Vancouver Police Department
- Washougal Police Department
- Washougal Silver Star Search & Rescue
- West Van for Youth
Prevent Coalition would like to thank PeaceHealth Southwest Urgent Care, Battle Ground Police Department, Kaiser Permanente Cascade Park, Washougal Silver Star Search & Rescue, Cowlitz Public Safety Department, and Klickitat Valley Health for hosting the six event sites.
Unwanted medications also can be disposed of year-round at several collection sites across Southwest Washington. Controlled substances, such as painkillers and tranquilizers, can be taken to participating law enforcement agencies and participating pharmacies. Non-controlled substances, such as over-the-counter medications and sharps, can be taken to local participating transfer and recovery centers. Visit takebackyourmeds.org for more details on where to drop off your medications.